Dennis Charolais: Heritage and Hard Work

Every family farm has a story to tell. Some are generations deep, rooted in tradition, while others see younger generations diversify from its beginnings.

Some maintain modest-sized businesses, while other have turned into sprawling corporations. Too many times in this day and age, others see farms fade away with the generations that came before.

The Dennis Charolais Farm in Saint Jo, Texas, nestled among rolling hills and surrounded by wineries, a pizzeria and soon a bed and breakfast, is an accumulation of five generations in the Dennis family. Today, Eric Dennis operates the farm that was a piece of his heritage he took and made his very own.

Old signs can still be found dictating where the Dennis Farm once sprawled across thousands of acres, but as each generation took possession, the land slowly dwindled. “You can see signs where Dennises used to own it from the bluff all the way to the river,” said Dennis, as he points far off in each direction. “Sadly enough, what happens in most instances when land is passed down to the next generation is the kids don’t have use for the land or haven’t been around, and they will sell their parts off and gradually everything gets sold down and chipped away.”

Fortunately, Dennis’ father, Richard, refused to let go of any more of his family’s legacy. The elder Dennis had graduated from Texas A&M with his masters and doctorate, had a veterinarian license and was working as a professor at Ohio State University when he was informed his kinfolk were preparing to sell the family land.

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